A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
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Canal St. to 14th St., University Pl. to West St.
Labor-intensive and time-consuming to make, risotto is a noble dish that in the states is usually found in pricey Northern Italian restaurants. Diminutive Risotteria changes that, offering modestly priced risotto, done quickly and reasonably well. Whereas the classic method for making risotto requires a cook's close attention for nearly half-an-hour, Risotteria accelerates the process by partially pre-cooking the rice, requiring only 10 minutes to complete the order. You can't make the best risotto this way, but the results are pretty good, hot, nourishing, and sometimes soulful. Here, they serve three dozen preparations, made from one of three varieties of Italian short grained rice. "Buttery" Arborio rice, with shrimp, hot peppers, and arugula, is particularly good: The shrimp is tender but has snap, the arugula is nutty, and the pepper's piquancy adds depth. Cooked only with vegetable broth, Aialone Nano rice is given to gentler preparations that include vegetables and creamy cheeses. Chewy Carnaroli ice is used for more robust dishes, such as a (muddled) trio of chicken, porcini mushrooms, and pine nuts, or combinations involving roasted or cured meats. Panini and thin, crispy pizzas with tomato, olive purée, or pesto are also served. Since rice is free from gluten, Risotteria proudly caters to wheat-intolerant diners, offering even the option of rice-flour pizzas, focaccia, and desserts.Recommended Dishes
Arborio risotto with shrimp, hot peppers and arugula, $15.25; pizza with pesto, feta and goat cheese with arugula, $15.75